I am going back over old ground here, but before I completely and utterly erase the flight from my living memory. Well, I am exaggerating slightly (see the memories are fading already0. Normally there is a sense of excitement when embarking on a flight… well that was before the boys and also I have never been on flight where we are leaving the country for a long period of time.
We had had a wonderful evening the night before we flew out with our parents and our sisters (minus Jen, Den and Airely) at Robin and Carolyn’s house. It was very strange having to say good bye to our sisters and little Olly… but I know that we will see them before we know it (well I hope so).
I was very surprised, but I actually slept relatively well the night before. With our 7 bags, the kids back packs, we needed two cars to get us to the airport. It was completely hectic at the airport with people either flying home or heading on holidays after the Christmas and New Year break. The grannies’ were in fine form watching their boys race all over the place, it meant that we could check in and get organised without having to worry about them jumping on the conveyer belt. By the time we got the tickets I was desperate to go through the gate.. as I knew that I would start to loose my composure. I was dreading having to say good-bye.
Anyway, we finally walked through the gates after lot of tears – and a quick rush back for a final hug and kiss with the parents and Joanna and Bas. The boys were getting a bit overwhelmed by this stage as they obviously had no idea what was going on. So we headed to the windows to check out the planes which helped distract them. Once we were called for the plane the boys were getting pretty excited … which was a worry as we were hoping they would start to calm down! As we were sitting towards the pointy end of the plane, we were quite apprehensive about how disrupted the boys may be on the flight. However, once we got our to our seats we realised that the majority of the people were under 16! So we could breath a sign of relief!
Well, I can’t speak highly enough of the flight attendants, they were fantastic with the boys. The boys were pretty impressed with the buttons on the chairs so that filled in hmm about 5 minutes every hour. We honestly did not get too much sleep. We left Melbourne at 11 am and the flight was for 14 hours, so not really the best time for the boys to fly. They had a 2 hour nap at the 4 hour mark and they kept them going until about 11 hrs…. where they starting getting a little more restless! Anthony was great with taking them up and down the aisles. But we had to laugh as we would see them same people walking up and down aisles with their kids, so at least we did not feel like we were the only ones. We had to wake the boys when we finally arrived in LA.
We had a quick change over to the domestic terminal once we arrived. We had requested assistance with our luggage and the service was fantastic. We were able to walk through to the domestic terminal and it was fantastic to get some very fresh cool air. We boarded the next flight and as we were taxi’ing out to the run way we could see one of our bags sitting on the tarmac! Ahhh by this stage we were all pretty exhausted. I don’t remember much of the fight to San Diego, as I think we all just passed out with exhaustion.
It was amazing flying into San Diego, I really had not realised how close we were to the Mexican border and also how arid the land is around the main city. Again we had to wake the boys when we landed. We were very kindly met by the family (Kirsten and Brad) who we were replacing. It truly made such a difference to see two smiling and welcoming faces after our trip. It was such a thoughtful thing to do, as trying to get the luggage and find the car hire place may have pushed things to far! With all our luggage we would not have been able to fit it in one car anyway!
We then went to our temporary accommodation. Kirsten had been shopping and put together an amazing hamper of things to get us through the next few days, including an amazing dinner. All these little things made the transition here so much easier. We finally got all our bags into the apartment and we agree to a 1 hour nap before getting out and finding out where we were!
So, the 14 hour flight was not great, but then I keep thinking of my friends who have flown back to the UK a number of times with younger kids.. the thought of another 10 hours was enough to keep me grounded here for a little while. The boys were overall very good, for two little active kids they behaved exactly as expected. I can highly recommend stickers and iPads!! Oh and the Planes movie… not that I have watched the whole thing yet, I can confirm the first 20 mins were great.. I have watched it about 10 times now.